September 18, 2017
In the 1990s, students at UCLA, UCSB, and Stanford University went on hunger strikes to demand the establishment and expansion of Chicana/o studies departments. They also had even broader aspirations—to obtain dignity and justice for all people. These students spoke eloquently, making their bodies and concerns visible.
Breathing life into these students’ spectacular sacrifice and activism, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval talks about his new book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity in a cover interview with Rorotoko, an online home for “cutting-edge intellectual interviews.”
In a nutshell
Starving for Justice examines three hunger strikes that took place in the 1990s on university campuses. Twenty years ago, Chicana/o, Latina/o students at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and Stanford stopped eating. Anti-immigrant measures like Proposition 187, mass incarceration, rising racial and economic inequality, globalization, budget cuts, and higher tuition costs morally outraged many. Having exhausted all other mechanisms for redressing their grievances, they embraced César Chávez’s perhaps mostly widely-known and controversial tactic for creating social change—the fast or “hunger strike.”
Read the full feature on Rorotoko.